Ear Hematomas in Cats
Additionally referred to as a "blood blister," a hematoma is a pocket of blood that develops inside of an organ or tissue. It is possible for aural hematomas to develop between the skin and cartilage of the ear flap of a cat, and their size and location can vary. Despite the fact that hematomas in the ears of cats are uncommon, it is critical for pet owners to be aware of the symptoms and be prepared to respond appropriately in the event that their cat suffers one.
Causes & Symptoms of Ear Hematomas in Cats
Cat ear hematomas are usually the result of damage or injury to the ear. When a cat's ear gets hurt, the blood vessels break and blood leaks into the nearby area, forming a hematoma. The primary reasons for cat ear hematomas are:
- Scratching and shaking of your cat's head caused by:
- ear infection
- ear mites
- skin allergies
- foreign object in the ear canal
- Scratches or bites from the environment or other animals
- Underlying health concerns and conditions
Diagnosis of Ear Hematomas in Cats
Ear hematomas in cats are easily detectable by your veterinarian through a visual examination or by feeling the cat's ears. When there is an infection present, the diagnosis of ear hematomas in cats becomes even smaller and more straightforward.
Your veterinarian may decide to take a blood sample in the event that there is a lack of clarity regarding the cause of the condition and to verify the presence of a hematoma.
Treatment for Ear Hematomas in Cats
The best way to deal with ear hematomas is usually through surgery. However, if your pet can't be sedated or if the hematoma is small, your vet might choose to drain it instead. This method will get rid of the hematoma, but it's not a long-term solution because the condition is likely to come back. On the other hand, ear hematoma surgery is a permanent solution that prevents excessive scarring and solves your pet's problem. During treatment, your vet will also address any underlying causes of the hematoma to prevent it from happening again.
Ear Hematoma Surgery for Cats
The main and most effective way to treat ear hematomas in cats is through surgery. Although the specific steps may differ depending on the situation and veterinarian, there are standard procedures involved, including:
- A small incision will be made at each end of the hematoma to remove the blood from the pinna. A drainage tube will be sutured into the hematoma to drain any fluids that builds up or the vet may choose to completely open the area to prevent a buildup of blood and fluids.
- The veterinary surgeon will close up the area where the blood accumulated permanently preventing further hematomas.
- The pinna will be supported to allow for proper healing through the cat's recovery process after ear hematoma surgery.
Following the resolution of the ear hematoma, your veterinarian will care for any additional conditions that are associated with the ear hematoma.
During the course of your cat's recovery, the veterinarian will remove any drainage tubes, bandages, or sutures that are present when it is safe to do so.
What Happens if Ear Hematomas Are Left Untreated
While ear hematomas will drain, heal and scar on their own this is not recommended. If left untreated, the following may occur.
- While healing the ear hematoma will cause swelling and pressure which will be very painful for your cat.
- The ear flap could become swollen and prevent you from being able to treat any infection that may be present.
- The process of ear hematomas in cats healing on their own could take a very long time.
- There is an increased possibility of ear hematomas reoccurring if left to heal on their own.
- If an ear hematoma heals naturally there is a good chance that it will leave an excess amount of scar tissue.
To ensure your cat's comfort, promote healing, and prevent future occurrences, it's advisable to have your vet examine and surgically treat an ear hematoma. Feel free to inquire directly about the cost of cat ear hematoma surgery from your vet for a more precise estimate.
Note: The advice provided in this post is intended for informational purposes and does not constitute medical advice regarding pets. For an accurate diagnosis of your pet's condition, please make an appointment with your vet.